Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

This Week's DVD Bin

DVD Picks

This Week's DVD Bin

The space crunch on the print side means we're moving the DVD picks online, sorry for the convenience.

Takeshi Miike's "13 Assassins" had a nice long run at the Ritz this spring. Miike is the violence-prone Japanese "bad boy" who actually toned down his style to engage the relative formalism of the samurai genre.

It's still plenty violent, but what emerges is a surprisingly thoughtful modern look back at feudal society and restrictive honor code of the samurai, a code that simultaneously defined and doomed the culture. The story follows a group of samurai on a suicide mission to assassinate a rogue warlord whose status is protected by a doddering shogun.

Miike uses archetypes that date back to Kurosawa, and gives them his own contemporary spin. The result is often fascinating. While "Assassins" was in theaters, I got a lot of calls asking if it was subtitled. Yes, of course, but don't let that stop you. It's very much an image-driven movie. Like "Tree of Life" only with way more severed heads.

For something TRULY violent, try "Hobo With a Shotgun," the movie that won a grindhouse competition sponsored by Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez. It's not an homage, like their "Grindhouse," it's the real thing -- Rutger Hauer taking a shotgun to the corrupt forces of a apocalyptic city.   

Gary Thompson Daily News Film Critic
About this blog
Gary Thompson is the Daily News film critic. Reach Gary at thompsg@phillynews.com.

Gary Thompson Daily News Film Critic
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